Shirebrook, Derbyshire born outside left George Bowater began his football career with hometown Midland League club Shirebrook in 1928 and signed for Third Division (North) club Mansfield Town in June 1931 ahead of their inaugural season in the Football League, Bowater making his debut against Gillingham in December 1931, scoring twice in a 3-1 victory at Field Mill. He soon established himself in the first eleven scoring 9 goals in 22 appearances before the season end, and he really came to the fore in 1932-33, finishing The Stags’ second highest goalscorer behind Harry Johnson with 18 goals in the campaign and missing only four matches, a goals total that included a hat-trick in a demolition of Rotherham United two days after Christmas 1932.
Bowater’s form attracted Second Division club Bradford Park Avenue to sign him in May 1933 after 27 goals in 61 appearances for Mansfield Town, but he never really established himself at the higher level, scoring once in 6 appearances during the first half of their 1933-34 campaign as a strong Avenue side finished fifth in the division. After a single season Bowater joined York City in June 1934 and scored 13 goals in 35 appearances for The Minstermen in 1935-35, but was on the move again in the 1935 close season, this time joining Midland League club Burton Town. He subsequently played for Frickley Colliery in 1936 and Peterborough United in 1937 before his eventual retirement.
NB the photograph was taken before the FA Cup tie between Walsall and Mansfield Town at Fellows Park on 26th November 1932. Walsall won the match 4-1.